A teen center is scheduled to open right around the corner from Bret Harte High School when classes start Aug. 22.
A years-long effort to bring the center to the community reached a milestone last week. Members of a nonprofit board founded to create the center accepted the keys to the second floor entrance at 172 S. Main St. from landlords.
“It’s taken three years to get to this point,” said board member and grant writer Lloyd Schneider.
Schneider said other groups tried before, but could not get a teen center for the Highway 4 corridor from Copperopolis to Arnold off the ground.
“One of the reasons we wanted to really move quickly when we found this place is it’s had so many false starts over the years,” he said.
The new digs include a kitchen amidst about 1,300-square-feet of floor space.
Cooking demonstrations, a computer lab, arts and crafts, foosball and ping-pong are among the anticipated offerings this fall.
In the yard, board President Sue Funkey said garden beds will be planted.
“The kids can have their own garden,” Funkey said. “You can take care of a tomato, learn how it grows, that sort of thing.”
The teen center movement has been funded largely by the Calaveras Community Foundation, along with anonymous private donors.
It will receive all proceeds from the Sept. 15 “Taste of Calaveras” event sponsored by the Angels Camp Business Association.
Volunteers, including teens involved with the board, will spend the summer preparing the site for its grand opening, the goal of which is to coincide with the resumption of classes after summer break.
Funkey said the center is seeking donations of bean bag chairs, other chairs, tables, bookcases, used computers and other items.